A Prayer for the Year’s End

Lord, our Father, you tell us today as you did yesterday, and you will tell us tomorrow as you have today, that you have always loved us and have drawn us to yourself out of pure goodness. We hear you; grant that we hear you correctly! We believe; help our unbelief! We want to obey you; bring an end to everything that is much too weak and much too hard in us, that we may truly and properly obey you! We trust you; cast out all the ghosts from our heads and hearts, that we may wholly and happily trust you! We run to you for shelter; let us earnestly leave behind everything that must be left behind, and let us look ahead and move forward in bright confidence!

Help all who are in this house; all those in this city and in the whole wide world who are in error, who are sorrowful, bitter, and confused; all prisoners; those who are sick in the hospitals and mental hospitals; those in politics who have positions of leadership; those who call out for bread, justice, and freedom; and those nations that wage war, whether with or without reason; the teachers and instructors and the children who are entrusted to them; the churches, regardless of direction or persuasion, that they may guard and spread the pure light of your Word.

We see so much, both near and far, that grieves and discourages us, and that also makes us angry and indifferent. But in you, there is complete order, peace, freedom, and joy. You were the hope for us and for the whole world in the old year, and you will also be the same in the new year. We lift our hearts–no, you be the one to lift our hearts to you! To you, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be the honor, yesterday, today, tomorrow, and forever. Amen.

– From Barth, Fifty Prayers, pp. 14-15.

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